Very local ways of coping with a global crisis
No one knows when this crisis will end. The scale of this is something we’ve not experienced for several generations, however, in my neighbourhood, I can see this bringing out the very best in people. We’re putting mechanisms in place to cope……
What’s really encouraging, is that so much is happening at a very local level, both the action, the organisation and the ideas. Whatsapp groups are popping up in a lot of residential streets, people are knocking on the doors of elderly neighbours to check that they are ok, kids are putting rainbows up in windows to cheer other children as they go on a neighbourhood safari as they distance themselves physically, and in Italy people are appearing on balconies to applaud their medical workers every Friday night. So many wonderful examples of humanity at its best. So much of this is driven from the bottom-up. That’s what makes it so powerful.
As bad as it seems, we should try to find some positives to takeaway. I hope people will get a better appreciation of the value and the power of community, of local leadership, of taking control yourself and of thinking about others. I hope that communities will become stronger as a result of this. That they will have found new ways to connect. That they will have experienced the power of that connection.
This is highlighting the importance of local resilience. If we’re able to cope better when things at the centre aren’t working as they should then we need local systems that work in a much more distributed manner.
Start with Local has always been about unleashing the strength that comes with viewing the world through a local lens. The strength in grassroots activity. The strength in dealing with a wider problem on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood basis. Enabling a more decentralised structure.
In the 2020s we face many significant challenges, from Covid-19 to the climate crisis, environmental breakdown, to our threatened democracies. So building strength locally becomes ever more important. Get it right in one neighbourhood and you can then start getting it right everywhere. A quiet and very positive revolution.
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